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October 23, 2010

Not a Green Thumb? Aim for a Green Tongue!

A few links:
I've been deliciously devouring the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, A Year of Food Life, by author Barbara Kingsolver perhaps most well known for The Poisonwood Bible. Her eldest daughter Camille Kingsolver ads in her observations with research back-up contributed by her husband Steven L. Hopp.

She wrote the book in 2007 detailing her family's move from Tuscon, Arizona to her husband's small farm in the Southern Appalachians. It's full of interesting and alarming facts about food sourcing and their decision to grow everything they eat, to find it locally, to align their food choices with the growing season.

It's the American version of The 100 Mile Diet but with more research behind the politics of food sourcing and convincing enough to smack an unconscious mouth into forming a small hesitant question mark before popping in the next bit of artificial sweetened, trans-fatted, square food morsel.

Now, just in case you're a slow learner, I'm not an "early adopter" (do ya think?) and it's quite ridiculous to admit this considering where I now live but coming from the city, I'm used to sleepwalking into a grocery store and practically sleepeating what I've hunted and gathered from the place. That's a slight exaggeration of course. I did shop at Capers which, in hindsight, is a halloween costume of organic lies.  But, I've never eaten an organic piece of meat because I always get this picture of a gentleman farmer chasing something all over the poperty, getting it in a headlock, wrestling it to the ground and just doing an allround messy job of the finale. Crazy I know.

I've never grown anything. Not even a single pot plant. When I buy garden plants, they're already started. Seeds? Huh? Do they still make those? You may not know that humans, in our illustrious history, have eaten 80,000 plant species. Now we eat about eight with even that number heading in a reduced direction to genetically modified corn, soy and canola and who knows, perhaps just a single pill a day by 2040.

I've lived here on Salt Spring for two years now and I'm surrounded by locally grown food whether it be available at farm stalls, at the Saturday and Tuesday Farmer's Market in the Park, at the various farms that open their gates to hungry locals, the gardens growing behind restaurants (Harbour House and Hastings House come initially to mind), in neighbour's backyards, on apple trees, the mushrooms and fungi growing wild beside forested trails, rosehips and blackberries.

I'm at the market almost every Saturday as a result of selling my photographs and only recently have I become a little adamant about eating the locally grown greens, vegetables, fruits that are bulging out of the booths of the farmers who live here.

So, here's my goal and a challenge for you in case you're slow like me.  Try and pay attention to where the food you're buying comes from, how far away that is, whether it's possible to buy locally grown and to eat "in season".

Maybe if I do that, I'll be more motivated to open a cookbook, have someone for dinner,  find recipes that befit the bounty all around. Baby steps. Everything in moderation. What's for breakfast?

Have you changed something about the way you purchase food or what you eat in the last couple of years?

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